Constructed in 1867 the 142-foot-tall lighthouse replaced the shorter 45-foot-tall lighthouse which had been built in 1833. It is conical in shape and is painted in alternating bands of red and white.
When constructed the lighthouse included a first-order Fresnel lens. The lens was later replaced with a more powerful electrical powered beacon.
It is normal for barrier islands to grow and change over time. Originally the Assateague Lighthouse was built on the southern tip of the island, but today the island has grown approximately 5 additional miles. The lighthouse is depicted on the 2003–2004 Federal Duck Stamp, designed by Ron Louque.